- - Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NEBRASKA

Governor signs bills on pipeline regulation

LINCOLN — Opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline promised a renewed effort Tuesday to kill the contentious project that would pump Canadian crude from tar sands deposits in Alberta to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.

Pipeline critics hailed two new state laws as a win for landowners, environmentalists and Nebraskans who had worried about potential risks to an environmentally sensitive area that was on the original route proposed by Canadian developer TransCanada. But several opponents said they still opposed the entire project.

The U.S. State Department announced earlier this month that it will delay its decision on the transnational pipeline until at least 2013. TransCanada subsequently agreed to divert its proposed route for the Keystone XL pipeline so that it wouldn’t pass through the Nebraska Sandhills, a region of porous hills that includes a high concentration of wetlands and the Ogallala aquifer, which provides water to huge swaths of U.S. cropland.

On Tuesday, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman signed two bills into law aimed at major oil pipelines, shortly before lawmakers ended their special session to confront concerns about the multibillion-dollar Keystone XL.

One law authorizes the state Department of Environmental Quality to conduct an environmental review of pipeline projects, including the Keystone XL. The governor would review the findings and submit an opinion to the State Department. The second law asserts Nebraska’s authority over future oil-pipeline projects, with public meetings and a mandatory review by the state Public Service Commission, which oversees utilities, telecommunications and mass transit.

FLORIDA

More reports of botched buttocks surgery by fake doc

MIAMI — Several possible victims have come forward alleging a woman posing as a Florida doctor and promising buttocks enhancement pumped their behinds with a toxic concoction of cement, superglue and flat-tire sealant, state health officials said Tuesday.

Oneal Ron Morris, who police say was born a man but identifies as a woman, was arrested Friday after nearly a year of being sought and charged with practicing medicine without a license with serious bodily injury. Authorities say a victim who was looking to get a job at a nightclub and wanted a curvier figure paid Mr. Morris $700 for the injections in 2010. Mr. Morris allegedly used some type of tubing and inserted the toxic chemicals into her backside during a painful procedure.

The victim, who is not being identified owing to medical privacy laws, suffered permanent scarring around the injection sites. Shortly after the surgery, she went to the hospital, but left because she was too embarrassed to tell doctors about the procedure. The victim required multiple surgeries and had a 24-hour home health aide for an extended period of time, according to a statement from the Department of Health.

 

GEORGIA

Four terrorism suspects denied bond

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